Red Cadeaux joined Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion on a flight to Hong Kong last night and trainer Ed Dunlop has confirmed that the veteran stayer will have his next race start in the 2015 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin on April 26.
Red Cadeaux made the trip to Australia for an autumn campaign and he was set to step-up to 3200 metres for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) after he finished a credible fifth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14, but connections opted to run him in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) due to the wet conditions at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The veteran gelding went into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at a fairly lengthy quote and he was blocked for a run throughout, but he hit the line most impressively when he found clear running to finish second behind Criterion.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes performance of Red Cadeaux showed that he is still capable of performing over 2000 metres at weight-for-age level and the Cadeaux Genereux gelding will be given another chance over the trip when he joins Criterion in the Queen Elizabeth Cup field.
“Red Cadeaux is set to travel to Hong Kong shortly after it was decided that the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin will be next on the agenda following his gallant run on Saturday,” Dunlop confirmed on his blog.
Red Cadeaux and Criterion are set to face off against the leading 2000 metres horse in Hong Kong in the Queen Elizabeth Cup and will also face stiff competition from fellow international invitees Smoking Sun and Staphanos.
Smoking Sun has not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 2 Prix D’Harcourt (2000m) at Longchamp on April 6, but he has performed consistently in races like the Group 1 Prix Ganay (2100m) at Longchamp on April 27, the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) at Kranji on May 18 and the Group 3 La Coupe De Maisons-Laffitte (2000m) on September 19.
Staphanos has not raced at Group 1 level since he finished fifth in the Group 1 Japanese 2000 Guineas (2000m) last year, but he finished a more than credible fourth behind Isla Bonita in the Group 2 St.Lite Kinen (2200m) at Nigata and he won the Group 3 Royal Cup Fuji Stakes (1600m) at Tokyo before he returned to racing with a third place finish in the Group 2 The Nakyama Kinen (1800m) on March 1.
No Australian-based trainer has ever won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, while the last European trainer to win the race was Luca Cumani, who took out the 2009 edition of the race with Presvis.